Saturday, February 11, 2012

Confraternity of the Rosary

Our Lady Delivering the Rosary Saint Dominic
The praying of the Dominican Rosary spread and people soon were divided into those who fanatical about its adoption and those who despised and ridiculed it as a childish devotion.  According to Mother Francis Raphael Drane that after Saint Dominic preached to the people about the Rosary “One of the bishops of Toulouse spoke of it afterwards with contempt, saying it was only fit for women and children. He was soon convinced of his error; for shortly afterwards, falling into great persecution and calumnies, he seemed in a vision to see himself plunged into thick mire from which there was no way of escape. Raising his eyes, he saw above him the forms of our Lady and Saint Dominic who let down to him a chain made of a hundred and fifty rings, fifteen of which were gold; and laying hold of this he found himself safely drawn to dry land. By this he understood, that it was by means of the devotion of the Rosary he should be delivered from his enemies, which shortly took place after he had devoutly commenced its use.”  

In a similar story a noble woman opposed to the confraternities that had sprung up around this devotion had a vision in which a large number of men and women surrounded by a great blaze of light were praying the Rosary.  For every Hail Mary they sang a beautiful star emerged from their mouths.  Our Lady said to the woman, “In this book are written the names of the brethren and sisters of my Rosary, but thy name is not written; and because thou hast persuaded many not to enter it, there shall befall thee a sickness for a time, which yet shall turn to thy salvation.” Upon waking the woman was paralyzed until she had her name added to the roster of the confraternity.  As soon as she did so, she was healed.  Miracles like these caused the propagation of the Rosary all over France.  With it the doctrine of the Incarnation was quickly spread throughout the land and the Albigensian heresy was defeated.  It came to be believed that invoking the name of Mary in prayer would stamp out heresy wherever it arose and increase the fervor of the faithful.

Drane, Augusta Theodosia (Mother Francis Raphael), The Life of St. Dominic and a Sketch of the Dominican Order with an Introduction to the America edition by Rev Joseph Sadoc Alemany, D.D., P. O’Shea Publisher, New York, New York, 1867, (p. 43).